In the world today

Essay by parham637College, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

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In the world today, everywhere you look you see something that has the potential to influence you. Whether this influence comes from a book, a teacher, or a movie it has the ability to change the way you view the world. I have run into a numerous amount of these life-changing influences in my seventeen short years of life. One novel in particular has especially influenced me on my journey through life. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, taught me a great deal about myself. The most important way that this novel influenced me was by helping me to realize how accommodating my life really is. When I first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I was in the seventh grade. At that time in my life, I had a very woe-is-me kind of attitude. I thought that everyone else had the nicer clothes, houses, and even families.

However, after reading only a few chapters of Betty Smith's book I started to realize how good my life seemed when compared to Janie's. Janie's life was exceedingly more strenuous then mines, yet she never complained about it. She not only accepted her life in the Brooklyn flats with her drunken father and scarce meals, but she truly enjoyed it. If I could not take pleasure from my suburban life with loving parents, what kind of person did that make me? After reading this novel for the first time I realized that I needed to change my outlook on life and to start living it to the fullest. This novel also influenced me by helping me relate to my grandparents' earlier years. My grandparents, like Janie, grew up in Brooklyn with their Irish families in the earlier part of the century. By reading A Tree Grows...